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Local squads bring cheer to special-needs students
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Local squads in Newton County came together recently to bring cheer to special-needs students at its annual Cheer Camp.

The camp was held at Ryan Mitchell's Ameri-can Karate studio in Conyers.
Savannah LeClair, Hannah and Lynda Reagan were the coordinators of this event and had help from cheerleaders from Eastside High School, Alcovy High School and Cousins Middle School, along with several other students. Michelle Evans and her daughter Gabby at AHS were also involved in planning.

The sponsors were Step In Time Therapy, Ameri-Kan Karate, EHS and AHS cheerleaders.

The cheerleaders recognized the need for the camp and banded together to initiate the camp. The cheerleaders also wanted time to socialize with kids and parents.

Activities included cheers, stunts, tumbling, dance, snacks and crafts ,and each volunteer was paired with a child to be a "buddy."

Their job was to make sure they were safe and had fun. It is hard to tell who had more fun or who was more exhausted - the participants or the volunteers.

Bailey Mathis, a student at AHS summed up the experience by saying, "I don't want to go home."

In another corner, parents Cassie Barrett and Rhonda Heyward were watching their young children play together as well as discussing and sharing valuable information about progressing from walking with a walker to crutches and issues they may face.

If you know of someone with special needs who would like to get involved in a future cheer camp, contact Lynda Reagan at 770-784-1893 or